Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Freezer Raid

I've been blabbering on a lot lately about cleaning and purging, and today's victim lucky recipient was our chest freezer. I went a-diggin' in there today to remind myself of what treasures lay within and hopefully spark a little creativity in terms of cooking and consuming my frozen goodies before spring and summer bring a whole new crop of edible delights. I found a LOT of things that I had forgotten that I had stashed in there and am kind of excited about getting to use them all in the next few weeks and months. Some of my newly re-discovered treasures-

*Six whole Red Rock Crab! - Crab cakes, anyone? :)
*5 pounds of blueberries - I knew that I had some in there. I just forgot how much.
*A honkin' bunch of zucchini
*LOTS of wild berries - huckleberries, salmon berries & wild blackberries. I'm going to try making a sorbet out of some of these.

I also found a few packages of sliced nectarines in there from last summer. What a treat to stumble on in January! And so, I am sort of knocking together a frozen dessert with these nectarines. It's basically an "ice cream pie" with a cookie crumb crust and homemade nectarine frozen yogurt, made of course, in the handy-dandy Kitchenaid. Here she is, my lovely freezy-pie -

I'd post a recipe, but I didn't really use one. So in lieu of a proper recipe, here's a quick rundown of what I did to make this lovely little treat -

1. I smashed some Meyer lemon cookies that we had lying around, mixed in a little butter and pressed them into the bottom of a spring form pan. Baked it at 350 for 5 or 10 minutes. Cooled it.

2. Mixed 2 cups plain Greek-style yogurt with 2 cups of whole milk peach yogurt, plus the thawed nectarines, a few tablespoons of maple syrup and some cinnamon & ginger.

3. Threw the yogurt mixture into the ice cream maker.

4. Poured the newly made Fro-Yo into the cooled crust and chucked it in the freezer.

That's it! I'm pretty darn happy with how it came out, but the kids weren't so keen on it. I think the yogurt was just a little more tart that they wanted in a "treat". Picky little beasts. Oh well, more for mama! :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Purge time is nigh

I've been bitten by the spring cleaning bug. Project number one - as always - is the girls' rooms.

I considered posting a pair of before and after pics here just to illustrate the magnitude of this task, but I'm WAY too embarrassed about the state of their junk pile rooms to put photographic evidence out there for all the world to see. Suffice it to say that this afternoon I removed one garbage bag full of trash and one full of toys and other stuff destined for Goodwill, and I barely scratched the surface.

The bedroom and playroom have reached this state because of a perfect storm of laziness & disability on my part (I've had 2 surgeries this past year), pressure from my inner-pack rat (Don't throw that away! You'll need it again...eventually.) and my youngest daughter's seriously serious case of kleptomania. Seriously. She once bawled me out for throwing out a rock that she had in her bed. If she were allowed, she'd save every last ribbon and scrap of wrapping paper from every present she's ever been given. She saves the feathers that her parakeets shed, the wrappers from her candy, etc. It is a problem.

So when I ask the girls to clean their room, I also usually ask them to purge a set amount of stuff, say 5 items or maybe a paper bag full. For the oldest, this is no problem at all, especially if there is a reward offered, such as a new toy or a trip to the ice cream shop. The little one is another story entirely. Every scrap of paper and broken McDonalds toy has deep, meaningful memories attached. We have bargaining and tearful pleas for mercy which usually end in her melting down and mommy pouring herself a glass of wine or three. It's an ugly scene.

Well today was zero-hour. Knowing the begging and whining that would ensue, I did a pre-cleaning purge of their room while they were at school, then asked them to "clean" (HA!) what was left. Little do they know that still more of their stuff will be moving on out tomorrow while they are at school. Theirs isn't the only room that will be undergoing the no-holds-barred sorting and purging. The closets and cupboards are up next, but all will get their turn in good time, myself included. Right now I just need to try and muscle through the not so fun part of wading through junk and dust bunnies. Soon enough I'll be reaping my rewards in the form of cleanliness, calm and simplicity, but for now, it's headlong into the heap. Pray for my safe return!